Cornwall is stunning, we know this already and people may focus on surfing, the beach and caravan holidays but it is also perfect for trail running. For this blog I’m going to focus on my locality; Redruth, Cornwall as well as its surrounding areas. Now most people will have either not heard of it or will see it as a traditional mining area that struggles with poverty these days. Lesser known about the area, unless you’re a keen runner or walker, is all of the off road trails. It’s bleddy riddled with them!
In 2020 I went from being on occasional jogger to replacing the gym with running. This was then furthered by the first lockdown we experienced in the UK, there was nothing left to do but have a run. At that time I literally lived on a trail called the Great Flat Flode – a 12km route that encircles the Carn Brea area and overlooks Camborne and Redruth.
There are so many offshoots from this trail that lead to other trails. The Great Flat Lode is probably the busiest of all the local trails and is joined up by old mining chimneys and buildings that were used in the mining process.
If you fancy getting off road and tackling some big hill work then this is the one! You can take it quite directly and hit the elevation hard or you can take more gradual climbs. The rewards at the top are worth it with panoramic views of the coast stretching from St Ives to Perranporth on the north coast and Falmouth to Helston on the south.
Coast 2 Coast (Portreath to Devoran via Bissoe)
Devoran Quay sits between Truro and Falmouth where Restronguet Creek meets Carnon river and acts as a start or finish point for a coast to coast run, almost all exclusively trail linking the south coast of Cornwall to the north at Portreath Beach. Multi-terrain, you’ve got coastline, woods, open pathways. You don’t have to go as far as coast to coast as there are many laybys and areas where you can dip in and out along the way along the 11 mile route.
There’s a number of chances to refuel with The Old Quay in Devoran, St Piran Café at Bissoe, Bon Apetit at Twelveheads and Fuel in Portreath all offering up something you might like with Fuel and St Piran being athletic-focused.
Another Carn with panoramic views with this trail’s USP being the flooded quarry at the top where people fish and take a dip. Weirdos. The Carn sits between Lanner and Chacewater and on a clear day you can see 45km to Rough Tor and Brown Willy in Bodmin as well as Pendennis Castle in Falmouth, Poldhu in Helston and all along the north coast too. Once you enter the trail in Lanner or the Chacewater entry point you’re exclusively on trail and can circle the Carn or run directly through it.
Lanner Old Tramline
On the opposite side of the road in Lanner to where you’d enter the Carn Marth trail is an entrance into a partly wooded trail linking Lanner with Stithians alongside an old tramline. There are tons of different options along the way here where you can just go along the trail parallel to Lanner, head off to Stithians Reservoir or come back on yourself on the road a little and head to the Great Flat Lode.
All of this is so close to the Camborne area and is barely even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to trail running in Cornwall. Get those trail runners on and use Cornwall for something that it isn’t clichéd for!